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Attacks ‘won’t force me from my home’

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Frank McAuley and Len Kane examine the broken window at his houseby

Frank McAuley and Len Kane examine the broken window at his houseby

Frank McAuley and Len Kane examine the broken window at his houseby

A north Belfast man who has been targeted three times in “sectarian attacks” in less than a week said he will not be forced from his home.

Frank McAuley, 69, who lives in Twaddell Avenue, was first targeted on Tuesday, April 27.

Just before midnight he was disturbed by the thud of a bottle being thrown at his front door.

Going out to investigate, he was confronted by three men who shouted abuse and threw two full pint glasses which broke his front window.

Mr McAuley rang for the police who arrived within minutes. The three men made off across Ardoyne roundabout towards Brompton Park.

One of the men was apprehended by police and arrested on suspicion of criminal damage, possession of an offensive weapon, riotous behaviour, resisting arrest and assault |on police.

The man was later released on bail pending further enquiries.

The second incident happened on Friday, April 30, shortly after 11pm when a window was smashed at his house.

Then on Saturday, May 1, Mr McAuley heard a loud bang outside and went out to investigate. He said several youths shouted abuse at him and “threatened to blow the house up”.

The pensioner said he has been badly shaken by the events of the |last week.

“I am very worried by it all. This last week has been really bad and very frightening,” he said.

However he said the attacks won’t force him from his home.

“I’m not going anywhere,” he vowed.

“There is no way I am moving out, they would have to blow up my home.”

Councillors Brian Kingston and William Humphrey met with the PSNI on Sunday and urged them to step up security in the area in the wake of the attacks.

North Belfast MP Nigel Dodds said: “This was a totally unprovoked sectarian attack and it is to be utterly condemned. It is disgraceful that this pensioner couple have had such an ordeal inflicted upon them.

“The police are to be commended for providing a rapid response to this incident and for apparently apprehending those responsible.

“I will be pressing the police to pay close attention to this interface in the coming days and weeks to ensure there is no repetition or escalation.

“Residents must be protected from those seeking to launch unprovoked attacks under the cover of darkness.”

Len Kane, chairman of the Twaddell/Woodvale Residents Association, added: “This was a disgraceful attack. The people in this area have had to put up with a lot in the past and we don’t want to return to that.”

A PSNI spokeswoman appealed for any information and said enquiries were ongoing.

Belfast Telegraph